Councilmember Noel Gallo, District 5, presented a report Tuesday afternoon at the Public Safety Committee Meeting to ban Internet cafés that may be conducting illegal online gambling operation.
“We need to shut it down, close it down, and not let it expand,” said Gallo in an interview with the Post on Wednesday. “We need to establish some order in Oakland.”
Basedon a report from the City Administrator Office, staff has received numerous inquiries in regards to Internet cafes that are being used to conducts illegal gaming and gambling online.
According to the report, “Internet Sweepstakes cafes purport to sell their customer time on computers that are connected to the Internet,” but the businesses permits” customers to play gambling-themed games on computers to win cash prizes.”
Get Connected, an Internet café located on 33rd Avenue and International Boulevard, is one business where illegal gambling activities are being reporting, according to Gallo. He says the company lied on its business permit and that the State Gambling Control Association has visited the site and is saying it is an illegal operation.
The cities of Hayward and San Leandro have been working with California state legislators to fix the “regulatory hole” that allows these businesses to appear legitimate.
Gallo says he is proposing to bring the ban to the City Council, approve it, and pass an emergency ordinance that would immediately shut down all such business and not allow any more to come to Oakland.
“Oakland needs to step up and make our streets safe and clean,” Gallo said.
Get Connected, LLC in Oakland was contacted but refused to comment on the allegations against the business.